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Hi all!
New here to revolvers in general.....
Wondering if there is any info you can give me on the above listed revolver? Age confirmation? Ammo needed? The barrel says just pocket positive 32 police ctg. All wooden handle. Looking to see if it fires just .32 long or .32-20 WCF? Or both. I'm about to pick it up in a few weeks, but it was an uncles and there isn't much info from him on it.... Serial number 1276xx I believe built in 1917. Any info would be great especially for the needed ammo.....Pics included
724205
724206
 

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Welcome to the Colt Forum! Thanks for sharing your wonderful soon to be heirloom with us. You're in the right spot to learn more about it.

For a general overview of your revolver, check out this link: Pocket Positive

Simplest put, the Pocket Positive is the smallest 'modern' swingout revolver Colt made, featuring their 'positive' technology making it much safer from accidental discharge. The insides of that little guy are on par with and was the basis for every revolver Colt made throughout the 20th century. Every revolver after utilized its design. With the serial you provided, that would place your gun sometime around 1927, so it is likely a late 'first issue' Pocket Positive. Around 1928 is when Colt made a couple of changes and became what collectors refer to as the 'second issue.'

From my understanding, I do not believe those are the correct grips. They would have been added later as a personalization. Factory grips on a Pocket Positive almost always were either black hard rubber stocks or standard checkered walnut stocks. Colt began transitioning to walnut around 1924, but it's possible yours originally left with either when it was shipped.

With my mention that it's the smallest 'modern' swingout revolver and comparable to any of Colt's other revolvers from the 1900's, it's perfectly safe to carry, shoot, and enjoy. You may want to have a qualified gunsmith look it over before shooting it unless you know your uncle had maintained its condition.

And now finally, as you noted your gun is .32 Colt New Police. That's effectively identical to .32 S&W Long, and any .32 S&W Long ammo will work. Back in the day, Colt didn't want to put their competitors name on their guns, so they created an identical cartridge with a flat nose and gave it a new name. For sake of purpose, there is no difference. Definitely don't try shooting .32-20 WCF in it, but feel more than free to take it to the range (or backyard if you're out far enough in the country) and can find some ammo for it. They're great little guns.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask. I am sure other people will be by to fill in the blanks I may have forgot, but hopefully this helped! I've never owned a Colt Pocket Positive, but I'd like to and intend to get one sometime. Let us know how it goes when you get it and what you decide to do. :)
 

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Can‘t help on dates but ammo is .32 S&W Long. Colt had it’s own 32, the Long Colt, but the S&W was more popular. Firearm companies would chamber for other companies cartridges but didn’t like putting other companies name on their guns. Thus Colt called it the Police Cartridge.
 

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Hi all!
New here to revolvers in general.....
Wondering if there is any info you can give me on the above listed revolver? Age confirmation? Ammo needed? The barrel says just pocket positive 32 police ctg. All wooden handle. Looking to see if it fires just .32 long or .32-20 WCF? Or both. I'm about to pick it up in a few weeks, but it was an uncles and there isn't much info from him on it.... Serial number 1276xx I believe built in 1917. Any info would be great especially for the needed ammo.....Pics included
724225
 

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Now I'm all over the place with this.....
I have a 1921 Pocket Positive chambered in .32 Colt. It has been my understanding that it runs on .32 Colt New Police, and .32 S&W.
I have never fired any .32 NP or S&W Long in any of the .32 revolvers in the pile..
Am I to understand that it will run .32 S&W Long as well?
Does this apply to all revolvers chambered for .32 NP and .32 S&W? That is, the S&Ws as well as the Colts? Or am I assuming way too much?
I thought I had this all figured out.
Please school me....
.32 S&W is pretty scarce around these parts, but I have seen a lot more S&W Long on dealer shelves.
724251

This is a cut-down refinished one that was very cheap.

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This is a cheap, beat up Police positive .32.

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2 cheap Iver Johnson .32s.
There are some S&W .32s in the pile, as well, but I can't seem to locate the images.
 

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Now I'm all over the place with this.....
I have a 1921 Pocket Positive chambered in .32 Colt. It has been my understanding that it runs on .32 Colt New Police, and .32 S&W.
I have never fired any .32 NP or S&W Long in any of the .32 revolvers in the pile..
Am I to understand that it will run .32 S&W Long as well?
Does this apply to all revolvers chambered for .32 NP and .32 S&W? That is, the S&Ws as well as the Colts? Or am I assuming way too much?
I thought I had this all figured out.
Please school me....
.32 S&W is pretty scarce around these parts, but I have seen a lot more S&W Long on dealer shelves. View attachment 724251
This is a cut-down refinished one that was very cheap.

View attachment 724253
This is a cheap, beat up Police positive .32.

View attachment 724255
2 cheap Iver Johnson .32s.
There are some S&W .32s in the pile, as well, but I can't seem to locate the images.
Edit: I realize you said your gun is marked .32 Colt (as in .32 Colt CTG). If that's the case, then no, it will not fire .32 New Police or .32 S&W Long, so stick with .32 S&W ammo.

As you can see in Kerz's chart, .32 Colt New Police = .32 S&W Long. They're the same.

You can shoot 32 S&W Long in your .32 NP guns, and ideally vice versa. The regular .32 S&W is just a shorter version of the same round, so it will chamber and can be shot as well, but it's actually a smaller round than was intended for the gun.

I couldn't really tell you if this applies to all revolvers chambered for .32 NP and .32 S&W Long (not .32 S&W), but I would imagine any gun designated for either round will indeed house the other, considering they're effectively identical. However, if the gun is simply marked for .32 Colt or .32 S&W, it shouldn't fire either .32 NP or .32 S&W Long, because those are larger than the caliber designed for the gun.

The nice thing is, as you pointed out, .32 S&W Long is much easier to find than .32 S&W, so if you have a gun marked to accept it, it makes life a bit easier.

One thing though to note, early Pocket Positives were available in both .32 Colt and .32 S&W, which are not the same as .32 Colt New Police. Always makes sure you know which one you have before firing it.

Definitely confusing since they never got very original with new caliber names, but I hope this helps. Also, take it with a grain of salt, because I don't own any .32 revolvers, so what do I know?
 

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I think you can just look inside the chambers : If there is a step it is for 32 S&W long (new police), if they are straight, it is 32 long colt, and a 32SW will not enter.
 

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Rule of thumb with these .32 Colts - if the barrel says "Police" or references police like "NP" in the cartridge listing, it's the more common .32 S&W. That is the one you want. If no words that start with "P" in the caliber engraving, it's the one you don't want.
I was just looking that up. It does get super confusing. If it makes mention of Police anywhere in it, wouldn't that be .32 S&W Long, and not .32 S&W?

And with that being said, if it's marked ".32 Colt CTG" that is .32 Colt?
 

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I think it's rather 32 long colt for the pocket positive (you should show the cylinders in the pictures to compare their lenght
 

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I think it's rather 32 long colt for the pocket positive (you should show the cylinders in the pictures to compare their lenght
The reason this gets confusing is I don't think .32 Long Colt is the same as .32 S&W Long, but if it's marked for .32 Police, then it fits the .32 S&W Long which is the same as .32 Colt New Police.

On the other hand, .32 Colt = .32 S&W, correct? And then also, is .32 Short Colt the same thing as simply .32 Colt?
 

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The reason this gets confusing is I don't think .32 Long Colt is the same as .32 S&W Long, but if it's marked for .32 Police, then it fits the .32 S&W Long which is the same as .32 Colt New Police.

On the other hand, .32 Colt = .32 S&W, correct? And then also, is .32 Short Colt the same thing as simply .32 Colt?
Not at all !
32 SW long = 32 colt new police
32sw short is the same diameter but shorter

32 colt exits also in long and short, and the diameter of their cases is smaller than 32 S&w

The bullets are the same caliber (and so the barrels) for 32 colt and 32 s&w, so I think the marking is refering to the barrel's bore.
For the cartridge to use, you 'd better verify the cylinder chambers
 

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Thank you, men, for the re-hash of the .32 revolver rounds. I know I am safe with the .32 S&W in revolvers that are marked .32 Colt.
I will compare cylinders and rounds before attempting anything other.
This has been a necessary and useful review for me.
I will not blow anything up.
And any pre-1900 guns will not get any smokeless, period.
Excellent response, and timely, too.
 

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Not at all !
32 SW long = 32 colt new police
32sw short is the same diameter but shorter

32 colt exits also in long and short, and the diameter of their cases is smaller than 32 S&w

The bullets are the same caliber (and so the barrels) for 32 colt and 32 s&w, so I think the marking is refering to the barrel's bore.
For the cartridge to use, you 'd better verify the cylinder chambers
Thank you for that clarification. I mostly ask for head knowledge since I don't own a .32 at this time, but it's good to know.

So .32 S&W is the same caliber as .32 Colt (short), but the cases are different diameters? However a gun marked ".32 Colt CTG" will fit and fire a .32 S&W round? Definitely gets confusing, but got it. Much appreciated.

Thank you, men, for the re-hash of the .32 revolver rounds. I know I am safe with the .32 S&W in revolvers that are marked .32 Colt.
I will compare cylinders and rounds before attempting anything other.
This has been a necessary and useful review for me.
I will not blow anything up.
And any pre-1900 guns will not get any smokeless, period.
Excellent response, and timely, too.
Welcome for the help! It's actually been pretty helpful for me, too, to dive in and double check everything. I want a Pocket Positive eventually, so this refresher has been great and will be useful when looking for one to make sure I get right caliber.
 

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Thank you for that clarification. I mostly ask for head knowledge since I don't own a .32 at this time, but it's good to know.

So .32 S&W is the same caliber as .32 Colt (short), but the cases are different diameters? However a gun marked ".32 Colt CTG" will fit and fire a .32 S&W round? Definitely gets confusing, but got it. Much appreciated.
The case diameter of 32 colt is smaller than 32 SW because 32 colt cartridges (short and long) were with heeled bullets. Actually they are obsolete . Colts new line for exeample were chambered for 32 long colt.
32 sw cartidges (long and short) are like modern cartrdges, the case larger than the bullet, so there is a step in the chamber. Colt adopted it and gave the name "new police".
 

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The case diameter of 32 colt is smaller than 32 SW because 32 colt cartridges (short and long) were with heeled bullets. Actually they are obsolete . Colts new line for exeample were chambered for 32 long colt.
32 sw cartidges (long and short) are like modern cartrdges, the case larger than the bullet, so there is a step in the chamber. Colt adopted it and gave the name "new police".
That makes sense, and explains what was meant by heeled bullet when I was researching.

With that being the case, guns marked .32 Colt can only shoot the .32 Colt and not the 32 S&W rounds, while the S&W can shoot both, due to the step in the chamber and different case diameters.

The only part that leaves me confused is why Pocket Positives marked ".32 Colt CTG" can fire .32 S&W, unless .32 Colt CTG is not the same as .32 Short Colt and they were always intended to shoot .32 S&W.

ColtFever makes mention these guns were chambered in .32 Colt, .32 S&W, and .32 New Police.

Perhaps '.32 Colt CTG' is meant to be .32 S&W, and the exclusively .32 Colt Pocket Positives have a different barrel marking?
 

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Whew!
I have fired .32 S&W in all my .32s that are safe for smokeless and that would include the S&Ws, Colts and post-1900 Iver Johnsons.
I do not believe I have ever even run across a box of .32 Colt.
Colt Forum Forever!
HooRah!
 
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